Side Projects: Great and Forgotten
What are the best side projects of our most famous artists?
After the Beatles, Paul McCartney famously set up Wings in 1971 with wife Linda. They gained one of the best-selling singles in UK chart history with 1977's 'Mull of Kintyre' but split up permanently in 1981.
2. Elton John and Kiki Dee
'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' was the first UK number one for both John and Kiki Dee, topping the chart for six weeks in 1976. Unlike other of John's singles in the 1970s it was never included on an original album.
3. Tin Machine
'Tin Machine' was Bowie's 1989 band project, intended to take him back to a hard rock sound. Their eponymous album was described by Spin magazine as "noise rock without the noise".
4. Anni-Frid Lyngstad
Frida recorded her first solo album 'Frida Alone' during the Abba years, where it was a huge commercial success in native Sweden. After Abba's 1982 breakup, she continued an international solo career with mixed results.
5. Mick Fleetwood Blues Band
When he's not on tour with the mighty Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood can be found with his twelve-bar side project the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. The side band affords him more of a chance to jam, have some fun and mess around.
6. George Michael and Mary J Blige
'As' was George and Mary's 1999 cover of the 1976 Stevie Wonder classic. It become a hit in the UK as the second single from George's 'Ladies and Gentlemen' album, but was never released in the US: reportedly after Michael's infamous arrest for "lewd acts".
7. Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson
'The Best Things In Life Are Free', the up-tempo duet between Vandross and Jackson, was recorded for the soundtrack of the 1992 film 'Mo Money'. It peaked at No. 2 on the UK charts and spent thirteen consecutive weeks on the chart.
8. Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
'You Don't Bring Me Flowers' (1978) was originally composed as a 45-second theme tune to a '70s TV show. It was expanded by Diamond for his own album, and then recorded by Streisand for her album; the duet only came about when both versions were spliced together by an intrepid music producer!
9. Live Aid/Band Aid 1984
Bono, Paul McCartney and Freddie Mercury were among pop stars to join in Live Aid. The project to raise money for anti-poverty efforts in Ethiopia, overseen by Bob Geldof, saw the 1984 release of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' which became the best selling single ever in the UK.